Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/1

Game 1: Tuesday, November 1st
Game 2: Wednesday, December 14th
Game 3: Sunday, March 5th
Game 4: Thursday, April 13th

Suns 115

(41-17, 17-9 away)

Mavericks 107

(46-13, 27-5 home)

2:30 PM ET, March 5, 2006

American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

1 2 3 4 T
PHX 24 27 30 34115
DAL 31 31 27 18107

Top Performers

Phoenix: B. Diaw 24 Pts, 10 Reb, 10 Ast

Dallas: D. Nowitzki 25 Pts, 9 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Blk

Diaw's triple-double leads Suns past Mavericks

DALLAS (AP) -- After completing his second career triple-double, Phoenix Suns center Boris Diaw credited his defense for his strong play.

Diaw had 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, and helped limit Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki to three points in the fourth quarter as the Suns extended their winning streak to a season-high 10 games with a 115-107 victory over the Mavericks on Sunday.

"Right now the best part of my game is my defense," said the 6-foot-8 Diaw, who had his hands full guarding the 7-0 Nowitzki. "I'm always guarding players who are bigger and stronger so I try to use my quickness."

Steve Nash had 25 points and 11 assists, Shawn Marion had 22 points and 10 rebounds and Leandro Barbosa scored 20 points to help the Suns end the Mavericks' club-record 16-game home winning streak.

Nowitzki had 25 points and nine rebounds, but went 1-for-5 from the field in the final quarter.

"They adjusted and double-teamed me," Nowitzki said. "I've got to do a better job finding the open man. More than anything, we know now we need a little more consistency for longer stretches."

Marquis Daniels added 22 points and Jason Terry had 21 points for the Mavericks, who have lost two of three after winning 19 of 20. The two recent losses have come against Western Conference powers San Antonio and Phoenix.

"We can't panic," Daniels said. "We still feel confident of where we are. All good things must come to an end. We've got to start a new (home winning streak)."

Five consecutive points from Diaw put the Suns ahead for good at 102-100 with 4:07 left. Barbosa's layup with 2:57 left and Nash's 3-pointer with 2:25 remaining extended the lead to 107-100.

Dallas got within 109-107 on Terry's 3-pointer with 1:01 left.

However, Marion converted a layup, Raja Bell and Nash hit two free throws each and the Suns finished the game with a 27-12 spurt over the final 8:31.

Barbosa, Tim Thomas and Eddie House came off the bench to outscore Dallas' reserves 16-2 in the fourth quarter, helping the Suns rally from a 13-point third-quarter deficit.

"Our energy was great in the fourth quarter," Nash said. "The second unit ... came in and gave us a big lift. We had greater activity, primarily defensively. We made a lot of plays and played a lot stickier, scrapped a little more."

Dallas was without Josh Howard (hamstring), Keith Van Horn (sprained knee) and Devin Harris (thigh). Van Horn will be out for at least two weeks while Howard and Harris are listed as day-to-day.

Mavericks coach Avery Johnson had to go deeper into his bench, starting Daniels and giving seldom-used Darrell Armstrong 11 minutes.

"Guys get hurt and other guys have got to pull their weight and pick up the slack," Dallas' Adrian Griffin said. "We don't make excuses. Obviously we are better when everyone is healthy."

Phoenix remains without injured inside players Amare Stoudemire (knee), Kurt Thomas (foot stress fracture) and Brian Grant (knee).

Dallas closed the first half with a 13-4 run for a 62-51 lead at the break.

The Mavericks held a 42-20 edge in points in the paint in the first half, but the Suns had a 28-26 inside scoring advantage in the second half. Dallas finished with a season-high 68 points in the paint.

Game notes

Diaw's other triple-double came on Jan. 31 against Philadelphia. Diaw finished one assist shy of another triple-double in his previous game against Orlando. ... Mavericks owner Mark Cuban watched the first quarter in a tuxedo rather than in his customary jeans and T-shirt before leaving via private jet for the Academy Awards in Hollywood. A movie produced by Cuban, "Good Night and Good Luck," was up for six nominations. ... Nowitzki has 12,605 career points, moving past Derek Harper for third most in franchise history.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 115 107
FGM-FGA 45-83 (.542) 45-86 (.523)
3PM-3PA 10-22 (.455) 4-14 (.286)
FTM-FTA 15-17 (.882) 13-15 (.867)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-38 10-37
Assists 27 19
Turnovers 12 12
Steals 7 7
Blocks 4 4
Fast Break Points 25 19
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (1/0) 16 (0/0)
Largest Lead 8 13

Top Performers

Boris Diaw Diaw
Points: 24
Reb: 10
Ast: 10
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
Points: 25
Reb: 9
Ast: 5
Stl: 0
Blk: 1